A little Bit of Korea in Brasilia

I try hard not to be negative on The Travelling Chopsticks, as I don’t want this to be the forum where I vent. Nobody likes a whiner…least of all me! This probably explains my lack of blogging activity the last few months, as getting back into the hum drum life of Brasilia has been tough!

However, I have to say this: I am far from impressed with the restaurant scene here in Brasilia! There, I have said it – this will be my only complaint…..

I can’t begin to tell you the amount of times C and I have left a restaurant and felt:

  1. We spent too much money.
  2. We could have made it better ourselves.

Now, this is not to say that every dining experience we have had has been mediocre, as I have discovered a few gems scattered around this city. And it is precisely these gems I want to focus on!

By far the most exciting discovery for me, has been Restaurante Happy House! A very odd little eatery, located in an incredibly scruffy mall near the centre of town which specialises in serving Brazilian por kilo food (buffet style where you are charged per/kilo) and….Korean food!

Entrance of Happy House – photo courtesy of their FB page.

Naturally it is the Korean food I want to talk about here. In a city where any type of Asian food is sorely lacking (or has been completely bastardised beyond recognition – sushi pizza anyone?) Happy House stands out! The spicy and pungent flavours of the kimchi, the pickled vegetables and the garlicky meat are such a welcome change from the normal cuisine that is available here, that this self proclaimed Asian Baby, left Happy House very…. well, Happy!

Open only for lunch time Monday to Saturday, Happy House is a casual and rather austere restaurant. Ambiance is obviously not high on the owner’s priorities which can be deduced by the bare walls, the unforgiving strip lights, the simple plastic tables and chairs, and not to mention the plastic laminated menus – but, in my opinion, when the food is that good – this just adds to the charm!

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The wonderfully austere eating hall!

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The Korean menu is small but covers all the essential foods that you may crave, such as; bibimbap, soups, noodles and Korean BBQ. The both times I visited, we ordered the spicy pork for the Korean BBQ, whereby a portable stove top is placed on the table and it is up to you to cook the meat. The only slight complaint I have is with the stove tops, as both times I have been there, they were rather temperamental and seemed to have a power issues– but once the problem was fixed by the friendly waitress (who seems to do this often), then you are good to go!

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Spicy pork belly and onions!

The portions are large and generous, and in my opinion value for money. The BBQ pork dish cost R35 and it included not only the pork, but also the banchan (Korean sides/starters), a bowl of white rice and a bowl of soup. I also have it on very good authority that members of the Korean diplo community dine here as well – then you know it has to be good, right? :)

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So, if you are looking for a little bit of Korea (or Asia for that matter) in Brasilia  do not hesitate to try out Restaurante Happy House – I promise you, that you will not only enjoy it but your wallet won’t feel empty and you will leave full and happy!

Restaurante Happy House
Address: SCS 8 Venancio 2000, Boco B-60, Loja 19, PA2 (2subsolo)
Telephone: 3223 8230
FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Restaurante-Happy-House/283103158448711

UPDATE – April 2015

I just wanted to add a quick update about Restaurante Happy House – I went there yesterday for lunch with a few friends, and they have completely remodeled and revamped themselves!

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They have now moved into the food court of the building, and although their space has significantly shrank, it is far more pleasant than the bare and austere eating hall they had before! They have also given up on their temperamental portable stove top – instead the BBQ pork and beef comes out ready made on a sizzling skillet, but equally delicious (and honestly far better!).

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The skillet with the sizzling BBQ pork – just as delicious as before!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to try the BBQ pork, beef, bibimbap and Korean dumplings, and can attest that the same quality is still there!

The presence of this restaurant in Brasilia truly makes me so happy!

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The view from the food court.

5 thoughts on “A little Bit of Korea in Brasilia

  1. I am constantly amazed by Korean restaurants found in “odd” locations. By the time we were 6 months into our RTW travels, I was dying for some Asian food (we started in South America, then Africa, then Europe)…and we found a Korean restaurant in Jerusalem of all places!! And it was actually good!! I’m glad you found a decent one! :)

  2. I adore Korean food and this looks so good! I’m happy that you’ve found at least one restaurant that you enjoy, because there’s nothing worse than overpaying for less than mediocre food! Hope you find more, and nice to see you FB again ;)

    1. Thanks Christina – yes, I’m slowly getting my groove back :) Thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, the restaurant seen in Brasilia is not amazing, but we are slowly but surely finding a few hidden gems here and there!

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